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What is Kief?

Posted by Adam Frost on

Have you seen a cannabis bud through a magnifying glass? You'll see a forest of tiny glittering-white mushroom-shaped strands called trichomes. These resinous glands serve two purposes: repelling pests and animals from eating the bud and attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Harvesting trichomes from the plant material (especially the bud) gives you a sticky amber-colored dust called kief, a THC, terpene, and flavonoid-rich extract. Connoisseurs love this powder — because it allows them to infuse THC into other goodies, such as edibles, oils, and beverages.

If you love cannabis and haven't used kief before, you're missing out on a lot! So, here's a beginner's guide covering everything about kief: its origin, contents, benefits, how to make it, use it, cook with it, and much more!

A Brief History of Kief

This cannabis product is believed to have originated from the middle east of Asia, where it was smoked with tobacco for medicinal, recreational, and spiritual purposes.

The word kief, in Moroccan Arabic, means joy or pleasure. People from Morocco often referred to kief as a mixture of finely-chopped cannabis and tobacco leaves.

We didn't have convenient tools back then, so we filtered out trichomes (along with cannabis flower matter) using extensive labor methods such as rubbing the cannabis bud against a flat surface or through dry sifting. While the quality you got wasn't as commendable as today, it was still quite popular because it offered greater potency and greater shelf life.

What Does Kief Contain?

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are compounds that interact with your body's endocannabinoid system to produce many psychoactive and non-psychoactive effects, including the high. Researchers have found over a hundred variants of this class in the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, and CBG.

Kief is rich in all of these compounds.

Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic compounds that add a unique smell and flavor to a cannabis strain. The cannabis plant uses them to attract pollinators, so they're naturally abundant in trichomes and flower.

Flavonoids

These compounds also contribute to flavoring and have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids also give the plant a vibrant color.

Kief Benefits

Potency

Trichomes are the storage units of the cannabis plant, so they're packed with all the good compounds. Unlike the 12 to 25% THC from the plant matter, you can expect up to 70% THC from the kief obtained from trichomes.

Purity

Cannabis plants may contain a small amount of pesticides, fungicides, heavy metals, and other contaminants, depending on how it was grown. Trichomes are lower on these, and the impurities get washed away with simple kief extraction techniques.

Versatility

Besides smoking kief along with tobacco, you can decarboxylate kief and use it in your tea, soup, baking, and cooking — anywhere you want!

Connoisseurs love sprinkling kief over their dry herbs to increase the THC content. However, we recommend not putting kief directly into the smoking bowl, as it may clog the tube, produce harsh tokes, and cause uneven burning due to poor circulation.

How to Make Kief

Making kief is simple. You just need a grinder! Well-engineered grinders have sharp and well-aligned teeth, which allow gentle grinding and prevent delicate trichomes from breaking apart. So, a high-quality grinder will always give you a more potent and flavor-packed kief.

kief in a grinder

Grinder

To use a grinder, break the cannabis bud down into smaller chunks and place it inside the grinder's top lid (teeth area). Then press the lid until it closes completely, then twist and grind until it is done! At last, carefully open your grinder from the bottom (kief catcher compartment) and scrape the powdery kief with a scraper.

A good kief scraper can hold a fair amount of kief without spilling it. Check out this one by Keefer!

If you're looking for a high-quality grinder to flaunt, look at our Luxury Modular Grinder.

Tight on a budget? We also have cheaper options at our dispensary. Check out the Chromium Alloy Purple Grinder!

Handling kief can be tedious because it's sticky! A kief press is a metallic piston that turns kief into a compact, hard tablet called puck, which is easier to handle and store! A kief press, like the Kannastör Kief Press, can make the job much easier.

Here's how you can get more kief out of your grinder.

Kief Box

A kief box (or pollen sifter box) is a sophisticated storing unit built to extend the life of your kief. It has a fine mesh screen for separating larger chunks from the powder and a mirror-smooth base, making kief scooping less tedious.

Some Kief boxes, like this wooden box, also have a hygrometer unit that allows humidity control options. With this system continuously gauging and setting the humidity levels, you can rest assured that your kief stays fresh.

How to Use Kief

Add it to a Bowl, Bong, or Joint

Kief is compatible with a glass pipe, bong, blunt, and joint. However, using it with dry herbs is best because otherwise, it'll cause carbon deposition in pipes, damage your tool, and give you a poor smoking experience.

Make Hash Out of It

You just have to pack some kief inside a kief, press tightly and heat it slowly. Alternatively, put some kief between parchment paper and press it with a hair-straightening iron.

Hash is the best fuel for dry herb vaporizers, as it's the densest form of dry cannabis in the market.

Make Moon Rocks

Moon rocks are extremely potent form of cannabis made by combining bud, oil, and kief. Here's how you make moon rocks.

  1. Pick a high-quality dry cannabis bud.
  2. Cover it with a thin layer of cannabis or honey oil using a dropper or oil brush.
  3. Roll it in kief until it looks like a rock from the moon.

Cook with It

Before sprinkling kief on your dishes as a topping, you need to activate the THC in it through decarboxylation. It's simple! Preheat the oven to 250° Fahrenheit (121° C), then bake the kief for 20 minutes. Your edible kief is ready!

However, if you're making edibles, you can also cook with raw kief, which will get cooked with other ingredients.

How to Store Kief

Kief becomes a clumpy mess in humid environments and loses its potency in low humidity. You can store your kief in an airtight glass jar or a kief box. Ensure the container is in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Kief FAQs

Can you Dab Kief?

You can dab kief if it's high in quality, as impure kief will produce carbon residue and reduce the life of your dab rig. But it's impractical because you can get a better experience with concentrates like wax, shatter, live resin, hash oil, and rosin.

Can you Vape Kief?

You can only vape kief in a dry herb vaporizer! Using kief inside any electronic vaporizer will clog or break the device, as it leaves residue!

Does Kief Get You Higher than Bud?

Yes! Kief is extracted from cannabis buds, so it's naturally higher in THC content than a bud.

Does Kief go Bad?

Yes, kief can go bad if not put in an airtight non-metallic container like a glass jar or kief box. These storage units can extend the life of your kief from 4 months and even a year!





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